OUR PULSE EMBODIES SPIRIT'S MUSIC

A new poem to celebrate the change of seasons with a little music.

OUR PULSE EMBODIES SPIRIT'S MUSIC

Our steps make fleeting imprints.
The masquerade will end.
The rutted footmarks fill
with tiny grains and broken bits of shell.
Summer retreats in the deceptive flame
of autumn, that grifter who steals
the hot sun’s cheerful solace, 
leaving only the momentary thought
that it was here. 

Wind blows, sending flurries sideways
on this sun-filled winter day.
Gusts spray snowdrifts,
wispy clouds wafting in white swirls
along the roadway. To our delight,
they lift and billow in dawn’s crepuscular rays.
The brush of migrating snow covers our tracks.
We feel we too could float into the bay.

For a moment I believe
the miracle of emptiness.
The macadam has become a cirrus-filled path.
Dazzling blue sky above us.
Ice crystals pelt my face,
melt on my breath.
An abstract art form, all of it,
into which we pour our lives.

Light rays encounter dust particles,
then change direction.
I think I’m both: particles and rays,
shifting, moving. Blind to before and after.
Dancing a pulsing cadence,
a gambol to the tune of time.
No choice but to sway to my music.

January Moon

A poem that celebrates the winter season and Gardiner's Bay, which is just a short walk away from the Art House Bed and Breakfast.

JANUARY MOON

Cabin windows on the night shore.
Hushed amber rectangles
beneath the circle
glow of moonlight. 

As she lifts above Gardiner's Bay,
she glints behind the bare trees.
Whooshing wind sweeps branches
of oak and sycamore.
They sway in unison in the chilling evening. 

I am in union
with moon’s ghostly shape.
My light, like hers,
not the flame of daylight,
but a quieter passion
fanned by the whims of daily weather,
tempered by the years. 

She rises as I sit
bundled in down and woolen scarf
on the cold cement garden bench.

Little comfort but great gratitude
for another season,
this game of repetition
in which the moon
is as constant and reliable
as I am challenged
by the most persistent part
of growing old,
the sea change that is age.

Chameleon

A new poem for the change of seasons.

CHAMELEON

A small red fox climbed through
the bedroom window we’d opened
on the first cold day.
Comfy on our old grey sofa,
he watched TV,
his lush fur spread around him.
He was the color of sunset at Louse Point,
apparently as peaceful.
Till my return startled him, startled me.
He bounded out the same way he came in.

In our ebbing garden, I feel the changing air.
The honeysuckle trellis still clings to green.
The box turtles’ plump shells
peek above the wood chip mound,
webbed feet and sharp beaks hidden.
Heads buried in the pile of mulch
we built for winter hibernation,
theirs and ours.

Walking here under the sanctuary sky,
I am fox and box turtle.
Montauk daisies, honeysuckle.
I am seasons’ transmuting moods and colors,
the amber brown of barren fields
past corn harvest,
wan as winter snow.
All the world’s blues, all the reds.
I am the hue of honeysuckle in its first yellow bloom.
I am the mutability of rainbows,
the impossible pot of gold.

I have come upon a crossroad
where thick-trunked sycamores
stand in a line of complex weaving.
I choose the labyrinthine path,
and the way is chosen for me.
Russet leaves crunch under my boots.
My hands seek heat in my holey pockets.

What I am and what I am not
greets the gauzy haze that filters through the trees.
I splash my colors onto the world I touch—
the persistence of my shrinking flower,
brilliant instincts of my winter-averse turtle.
In the onset of evening shadows, I become
the determination of my warmth-seeking fox.

In the Open: A Poem

“In the Open,” is a poem written about a year ago in this new and hopeful

era of #MeToo. A time when people were asking abused women why they did not come

forward earlier. I remembered two serious attacks in my youth and all the death by 1000

cuts experienced as a pretty young woman growing up in a time when women’s roles were

relegated to wife, mother, nurse, teacher. I remembered my own mother’s story of being

molested at the age of 14. She suffered her own silence as did her mother before her.

The poem expresses these thoughts and feelings and seems most pertinent at this particular

moment in our country’s history. Will men and women ever reach the higher purpose of

compassion and mutual understanding? Will there always be victimization and cowardice?

In the Open

The frayed curtain reveals its weft.
Among the tatters,
long hidden under layers
that weave a life,
shame and silence
cloaked in the fabric of time.
This buried injury has risen.

An unmasked cache of memories
pokes at me the way men did.
Even then I knew
how pretty, pretty
was a synonym for dread,
a snare for rape.
Unwelcome touch, jeering catcalls,
men’s fingers pressed open against
their lips, tongues out or worse,
unwelcome hands, unwelcome kisses,
spittle forced into my mouth. 

How dare you ask the question,
Why didn’t you say something?
Who? My ravaged mother?
The police? They were men too
who looked at me like food.

Beauty was a curse,
youth, a terrifying alley.
Monsters lurked.

Beware my pretty pretty girls and boys.
The fiend still tracks you down, no longer needs
a hiding place. He festers, out of the shadows.

Gerard Drive Bike Ride

A poem to celebrate the summer. Gerard Drive is not far from Art House and bicycles are always available to our guests.

GERARD DRIVE BIKE RIDE

The gulls, dining on seafood,
litter my path—
    fragments of shells,
  clams,
    whelk,
          an occasional
    crab leg

the road a banquet table
and I an uninvited guest
on my bicycle.

They scatter as I approach.
Some fly, grip their booty in their beaks
as if it were the last supper.
The braver ones
skew their tiny bobbing  heads,
look at me, offended,
drop their hard-won hapless bit of meat
and saunter off.

The month of love

February is the month of love. This February I had four pieces featured in the Karyn Mannix Contemporary’s 13th annual Love and Passion: Size Does Matter Small Works Show (images below). To further celebrate, here is a love poem:

Married Poem

After braiding each other
into plaits of argument,
challah and gemelli pasta, 

after pizza
topped with chocolate chips
that spelled I love you,

after pairing pepperoni
and peanut butter to satisfy
my vegan tastes, and yours,

my meat and pasta man,
our salad days long since passed,
you eat, standing at the sink.

Cheddar and a beer, crackers and prociutto,
and I, tofu topped with pear.
Full, at peace in this big house.

What a recipe! I am rambling on the keys.
You are upstairs in a book.
Our taste for each other still sweet as ripe nectarine.
We are gemelli—sky and earth, sun and moon,
two well-fitted parts of a single entity.

 

Thanksgiving

In our warm firelit room
we talk about how we recreate ourselves,
selves remembered. How we become who we are.
 
I love the cornucopia,
pumpkin pie, marshmallow yams,
home-made cranberry sauce.
Familiar wafting from the kitchen.
We don’t know
how we deserve this.
 
We talk about the origins of the holiday,
Native Americans—
What’s happening now, the news—
We dive into the bounty,
turn it off, watch the parade.
 
My father carried me on his shoulders,
little girl floating on air
like a helium balloon—
 
my arms around him.
I saw Mickey Mouse and Pluto
float above the crowd.
He held my legs tight to his sides,
protected me
as if he’d never leave.